Friday, January 21, 2011

And so I begin

So, it’s time for me to jump into genealogy blogging. Not because I consider myself especially insightful, creative, or even a particularly good writer (alas). But over the years I’ve gotten many questions about the Michutka family, which I’ve happily answered to the best of my ability.  I’ve tried writing up the family history a few times, have not been entirely satisfied with the result and didn’t finish (but someday must). And so perhaps a blog will answer my needs better: short bits, more informal, with the ability to carry on a dialogue with family and readers in the process.  I could benefit too from the exchange of ideas, instead of just handing out a finished product. 

I also see blogging as another and valuable way to interact with my fellow genealogists, and hope that I can use this venue as a way to contribute to the field. The genealogy blogging community has a number of interesting and helpful themes and prompts, such as Methodology Monday and Tombstone Tuesday.  My goal is to blog weekly on the topic of my own family research—Michutka Monday.  My hope (a “hope” being a step down from an actual goal!) is to also blog once a week or so on another topic, either using one of the other genealogy prompts, or writing about a document I’ve come across, a genealogy or history book, a local repository, or my mother’s or husband’s ancestry.

My previous attempts to write up the Michutka family history included starting from my grandparents and working back to earlier generations, and then starting over from the earliest known Mičutka ancestor and working toward the present. After giving it some thought, I’ve decided that this time I will start in the middle. Instead of identifying a “first” or a “last,” I’m choosing a nexus, someone from whom I can branch off in various directions.  That nexus will be my grandfather, who was born Juro Mičutka in a Slovak village in 1891 and died as George Michutka, an American citizen, in a small Michigan town in 1967.  Standing (virtually) in George’s shoes, I’ll look back at our European history, and forward at the first decades of the American experience. George will also be the link to his wife’s (my grandmother’s) family history, brief as that history currently is!  Polyglot George, child in Europe, adult in America, will provide me with touchpoints for discussing family, language, culture, and history.

Well, this might make it sound like I have book-length material, documents and family stories of generations past. The truth is, I don’t. We’re descended from ordinary folk in a small village. Or, if some were more-than-ordinary, then from extraordinary folk who left no stories behind.  But I’ll make the most of the records I’ve found and few stories I’ve heard, and do my best to place people into context. Please feel free to be a part of this, with your own stories, questions, and thoughts.

Tomorrow: What’s with the weird blog name??


  1. great start Julie - you're my first blogger friend!! Oh happy day!! Anne

  2. This is an awesome idea! Thank you for doing it and can't wait to read along! :)

  3. Welcome aboard! So looking forward to your efforts. I read ahead and adore your title.

    I've found blogging helpful in framing my research and luring family further into my genealogical net.

  4. Hello there!

    You’ve got a great genealogy blog and we’ve added it to the list of over 1,600 genealogy blogs at GeneaBloggers (

    We will announce your blog in our weekly New Genealogy Blogs on Saturday, January 29, 2011. In the meantime, please visit the About ( section at GeneaBloggers to learn how you can display your GeneaBloggers badge on your blog and also how you can participate in activities such as the Daily Blogging Prompts.

    If you need technical assistance, please check out Bootcamp for GeneaBloggers (


  5. Welcome to Blogville! Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

  6. Julie, Love the blog! Keep writing and I'll keep reading. Maryfrances OL4

  7. Hi Julie,
    Congrats on starting your blog. I love the name of your blog--aah, translation and its interesting results!

    The name reminds me of an actual road in Damariscotta Maine --"Controversy Lane." I wonder what went on there?

    Carol Prescott McCoy

  8. I do not know you and yet we share many things: a love of languages, an interest in blogging about it (my blog is forthcoming, and a grandparent from Slovakia who has captured our interest in genealogy. I look forward to reading your blog and to a sharing of ideas!

    Susan P. Del Conte

  9. I'm a little late to the party, but I want to welcome you to the world of genealogy blogging. You're going to love it!